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Brand names:


Other names:


Often used for:

Brain tumors; Also used as conditioning regimen before hematopoietic cell transplant

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About Thiotepa

Thiotepa is a type of chemotherapy. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells. It is usually used in combination with other medicines.

Patients will have regular blood draws to check blood counts and monitor liver and kidney function.

This medicine can be found on the skin because it is available in sweat. Caregivers should take extra precautions when caring for patients.

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May be given as a liquid into a vein by IV

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May be given in the cerebrospinal fluid (intrathecal)

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Possible Side Effects

  • Nausea and vomiting (especially with high doses)
  • Eye pain or irritation
  • Change in skin color (temporary darkening with high doses)
  • Skin irritation at the IV site
  • Low blood counts, usually after 10-14 days (may cause increased risk of infection, bleeding, anemia and/or fatigue)
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Headache
  • Abdominal pain
  • Mouth sores
  • Hair loss
  • Change in the normal menstrual cycle
  • Infertility
  • Liver problems

Not all patients who take thiotepa will experience these side effects. Common side effects are in bold, but there may be others. Please report all suspected side effects to your doctor or pharmacist.

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Possible Late Effects

Some patients may experience long-term or late effects of treatment that may continue or develop months or years after treatment ends. Possible late effects due to thiotepa include:

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Tips for Families

Be sure to discuss these and other recommendations with your doctor or pharmacist.

  • Protect patients and caregivers from exposure to thiotepa through sweat for 24 hours after administration. Recommendations include:
    • Patients should bathe often (at least 5 times a day), especially after sweating or becoming warm; pay attention to folds of the skin and pat skin dry.
    • Change clothes and bed linens often; change diapers every hour and clean area with damp cloth.
    • Do not use creams, moisturizers, or antiperspirant deodorants.
    • Caregivers should wear gloves when handling clothes and linens.
    • Avoid skin to skin contact with the patient; caregivers should wear long sleeves or use a blanket or other covering as a barrier.
  • A doctor may prescribe medicine to reduce nausea and vomiting.
  • Sexually active patients should take steps to prevent pregnancy during treatment and for 6 months after completion of therapy.
  • Patients should tell their doctor if they are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Caregivers should follow instructions to avoid contact with patient body fluids which can contain the drug for 48 hours after it is given.